Crossing the bridge over the Creswick Creek at the entrance to Clunes is surely one of the prettiest introductions to a small town to be found. With weeping willows cascading to the road’s edge, the impression of colonial grandeur is prominent in the form of Keebles Country House. This two storey residence started life as the Telegraph Hotel in 1863 and has had a number of incarnations as a hospital, girl’s boarding house, bus terminal and a Cobb and Co. station. There are some who say that Keebles was also a meeting place for the founding fathers working on the Federation of Australia.
The property became known by its current name when purchased by Joy and Alan Keebles in 1988 who extensively renovated the property and opened it as a B&B. Several owners later and further renovations now sees Keebles as a spectacular showpiece. The gardens are equally spectacular, styled largely as a traditional ornamental English garden, with lush greenery, meandering pathways and glorious flowering shrubs, all cohabiting happily with natives and other distinctive plantings. Current owners, Shelley Barnes and Peter Chandler obviously devote a lot of time and energy to their garden, which they offer as a venue for weddings and functions. They opened the gardens in September, 2017 for the first staging of the Clunes Spring Fair, which was so successful, that it will happen again in February for the Clunes Summer Fair. The gardens at Keebles are so suited to staging events, that the Summer Fair will be followed in March with a very special night of Opera Under the Stars and rounding out the first few months of the year in April with an outstanding Harvest Festival on Easter Sunday. A perfect time to showcase the food and wines of the region.
Shelley and Peter love to share their stunning home with their accommodation guests and with the many people who attend their events. Describing themselves as professional wine tasters, enthusiastic gourmands, rambling raconteurs, talented horse whisperers and fearless cat wranglers, Keebles is more than just a home to them, it is a lifestyle. Visit keeblescountryhouse.com.au for more information or like Keebles on Facebook at facebook.com/keebles